CANTON — Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to keep the property tax rate for 2019-20 at $17.50 per $1,000 of property valuation for the sixth straight year.

Selectman Russell Adams told other board members and residents that assessing agent Paul Binette presented three options.

“One is keeping the (tax) rate the same (at $17.50). That would give us an overlay of $53,000, approximately,” Adams said.

The others were $17.60 with an overlay of about $63,000 and $17.75 with an overlay of about $80,000, he said.

That overlay is used for unexpected expenses during the year. What’s not used goes into surplus or the undesignated fund balance and could help offset next year’s tax commitment.

Canton Historical Society member Phyllis Ouellette addresses the Board of Selectmen on Thursday night, inviting the public to a presentation titled “Maine and World War I” on Wednesday evening at the society building at 25 Turner St. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Because of the property revaluation earlier this year, the valuation has increased by “roughly $8 million,” from around $94 million in 2018 to about $102 million in 2019, Adams said.

Adams also said Regional School Unit 56’s 4.1% budget increase approved of by the board of directors earlier this month will keep the overlay at about $53,000.

If the school budget increases to 5%, there would still be roughly $30,000 for overlay, he said.

The town has kept the tax rate “flat for six years,” Selectman Don Hutchins said, adding selectmen chose a “healthy overlay,” at $53,000.

In other business, Hutchins said Fire Chief Jason Vaughan has purchased a 2009 Spartan firetruck for $250,000 and should last 15 or 20 years. He will drive it from western Pennsylvania.

In another matter, Canton Historical Society member Phyllis Ouellette invited the public to attend “Maine and World War I,” a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the society building, 25 Turner St. The speaker will be Capt. Jonathan D. Bratten of the Maine Army National Guard.

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